Top Commercial Roofing Options

When it comes to commercial construction, selecting the right roofing system is crucial for ensuring the longevity, energy efficiency, and overall protection of the building. With various options available, understanding the characteristics, benefits, and potential drawbacks of each roofing type is essential. In this post, we’ll explore the most common commercial roofing types to help you make informed decisions for your project.

Built-Up Roofing (BUR)

Built-up roofing, often referred to as BUR, is a classic roofing system that has been used for decades in commercial construction. It consists of multiple layers of bitumen surfaces alternated with reinforcing fabrics. BUR roofs offer durability, weather resistance, and excellent waterproofing capabilities.

  • Multiple layers of bitumen surfaces
  • Reinforcing fabrics for added strength
  • Durable and weather-resistant
  • Ideal for low-slope or flat roofs

Drawbacks: They can be heavy and may require additional structural support. Additionally, BUR roofs can be prone to punctures and may require regular maintenance.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Roofing

EPDM roofing is a single-ply membrane system made of synthetic rubber. It is lightweight, cost-effective, and relatively easy to install. EPDM roofs provide excellent resistance to UV radiation, ozone, and weathering.

  • Single-ply membrane made of synthetic rubber
  • Lightweight and cost-effective
  • Excellent resistance to UV radiation and weathering
  • Suitable for large, low-slope roofs

Drawbacks: They may be prone to punctures and can shrink over time, leading to potential leaks. Additionally, EPDM roofs may require periodic resealing or recoating to maintain their effectiveness.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roofing

TPO roofing is another popular single-ply membrane system made of thermoplastic materials. It offers superior reflectivity, reducing energy consumption and cooling costs. TPO roofs are highly resistant to UV radiation, chemicals, and punctures.

  • Made of thermoplastic materials
  • Superior reflectivity for energy efficiency
  • Highly resistant to UV radiation and punctures
  • Environmentally friendly and recyclable

Drawbacks: Seams can be vulnerable to separation and may require additional sealing. Additionally, TPO roofs may degrade over time due to exposure to heat and UV radiation.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing systems, such as standing seam or corrugated panels, are known for their durability and longevity. They come in various materials, including steel, aluminum, and copper, offering versatility in design and aesthetics. Metal roofs are resistant to fire, wind, and impact, making them suitable for harsh climates.

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Versatile in design and aesthetics
  • Resistant to fire, wind, and impact
  • Suitable for harsh climates

Drawbacks: Metal roofs can be noisy during rainfall and may require additional insulation to minimize sound transmission. Additionally, metal roofs can be susceptible to rust and corrosion if not properly maintained.

Green Roofs

Green roofs, also known as vegetative or living roofs, are an eco-friendly roofing option that involves the installation of vegetation and growing medium on top of a waterproof membrane. Green roofs offer numerous benefits, including improved air quality, reduced energy consumption, and enhanced stormwater management. They also provide additional insulation and can extend the lifespan of the roofing system.

  • Installation of vegetation and growing medium
  • Improved air quality and energy efficiency
  • Enhanced stormwater management
  • Extended lifespan of the roofing system

Drawbacks: Green roofs can be expensive to install and require regular maintenance, including irrigation, fertilization, and weed control.

Spray-On Roofing

Spray-on roofing, also known as spray foam roofing, is a seamless roofing solution that involves the application of polyurethane foam directly onto the roof substrate. The foam expands and forms a continuous, waterproof barrier that adheres to the roof surface. Spray-on roofing offers excellent insulation properties, seamless coverage, and resistance to leaks and water damage.

  • Excellent insulation properties and seamless coverage
  • Resistance to leaks and water damage
  • Ideal for roofs with irregular shapes

Drawbacks: Installation can be messy and may require specialized equipment and trained applicators. Additionally, spray-on roofing may be susceptible to UV degradation and require protective coatings for long-term durability.


Roof shingles, such as asphalt, wood, or slate, are a popular roofing choice for commercial buildings with pitched roofs. They are available in a variety of colors, styles, and materials to suit different architectural designs and preferences. Shingle roofs offer durability, weather resistance, and aesthetic appeal. They are relatively easy to install and maintain, making them a cost-effective option for many commercial properties.

  • Available in various colors, styles, and materials
  • Durability, weather resistance, and aesthetic appeal
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Cost-effective

Drawbacks: Shingle roofs may be susceptible to damage from hail, wind, and fire. Additionally, individual shingles may need to be replaced periodically, leading to maintenance costs over time.

Choosing the Right Roofing System

Selecting the most appropriate roofing system for your commercial building depends on several factors, including budget, building design, climate, and intended use. Consulting with experienced commercial roofing contractors, like Hoffman Commercial Construction, can help you make informed decisions and ensure the longevity and reliability of your roofing system. Contact us today to learn more about our roofing services and how we can assist you with your project.